Top Designs 2018 Forums and Talks


Year VCE
Terms 1-2
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
See schedule below for details

The Arts

School programs and resources

Top Designs Forums

Top Designs Forums support VCE students of Visual Communication Design, Product Design & Technology, Systems Engineering, VET Creative & Digital Media, Theatre Studies and Media.

They consist of an introductory talk from a representative of the VCAA, using examples from Top Designs exhibited works, folios and design plans. 

This is followed by a presentation by an industry professional, who represents best practice within their particular field of design. In some instances, there will also be a previous or current Top Designs Exhibitor speaking. The Forum allows time for Q&A. Students are encouraged to prepare questions for the speakers.

Exhibitor and industry speakers appear below as they are confirmed. The presentations are listed under related resources and are available to download. 

Product Design & Technology

Focus on textiles and fashion:

Date Times & Speakers
21 Mar 9.45am | Fashion Designer Genevieve Kulesza with Top Designs 2014 exhibitor Laura McKenzie
11.45am | Founders of Walk, Sew, Good Megan O'Malley and Gab Murphy with Top Designs 2014 exhibitor Laura McKenzie
26 Apr 9.45am | Fashion Designer Genevieve Kulesza with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Mariah Kehaidis
11.45am | Shoe Designer Claire Best with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Mariah Kehaidis 
11 May 9.45am | Fashion Designers Kat Pengelly from Koshka with Top Designs 2016 exhibitor Sophia Loughrey
11.45am |  Fashion Designers Kat Pengelly from Koshka and Clare Schreenan of Clasch Design with Top Designs 2016 exhibitor Sophia Loughrey

Focus on resistant materials, products, and furniture:

Date Times & Speakers
27 Mar 9.45am | Furniture Designers Luke Atkins and Veronica Paiva from Christopher Blank
11.45am | Industrial Designer Izaak Madsen with Top Designs 2014 exhibitor Sam Halsall
7 May 9.45am | Industrial Designer Sam Fuller with Top Designs 2014 exhibitor Sam Halsall
11.45am | Furniture Designers Luke Atkins and Veronica Paiva from Christopher Blank 
17 May 9.45am | Furniture Designers Luke Atkins and Veronica Paiva from Christopher Blank 
11.45am | Industrial Designer, Jeweller Emma Luke


Visual Communication Design

Date Times & Speakers
19 Mar 9.45am | Architect Rebecca Naughtin
11.45am | Architect Rebecca Naughtin
1.45pm | IIllustrator, Artist, Designer Daniella Leo
20 Mar 9.45am | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen
11.45am | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen
26 Mar 9.45am | Architect John Doyle
11.45am | Creative Director, Artist, Photographer Louisa West
1.45pm | Creative Director, Artist, Photographer Louisa West
28 Mar 9.45am | Artist & Illustrator Andrea Innocent with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
11.45am | Artist & Illustrator Andrea Innocent with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
1.45pm | Artist & Illustrator Andrea Innocent
29 Mar 9.45am | Architect Rebecca Naughtin
11.45am | Architect Rebecca Naughtin
16 Apr 9.45am | Creative Director, Artist, Photographer Louisa West
11.45am | Creative Director, Artist, Photographer Louisa West
19 Apr 9.45am | Architect Kim Pannan
11.45am | Architect Kim Pannan
1.45pm | Will Mahon from Atticus Design
20 Apr 9.45am | Will Mahon from Atticus Design
11.45am | Architect Virginia Mannering with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
1.45pm | Architect Virginia Mannering with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
23 Apr 9.45am | Artist & Illustrator Dawn Tan 
11.45am | Artist & Illustrator Dawn Tan
2 May 9.45am | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen and Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
11.45am | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen and Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
1.45pm | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen
3 May 9.45am | Designer Leah Heiss
11.45am | Communication Designer Lisa Reichenberg 
4 May 9.45am | Architect Kim Pannan
11.45am | Architect Kim Pannan
1.45pm | Concept Designer and Visualisation Artist Alicia Braumberger
9 May 9.45am | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
11.45am | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Rupa Anurendra
1.45pm | Artist and Letterer Kate Pullen
10 May 9.45am | Communication Designer & Founder of Motherbird Chris Murphy
11.45am | Communication Designer & Founder of Motherbird Chris Murphy
14 May 9.45am | Will Mahon from Atticus Design with Top Designs 2018 Exhibitor Rupa Anurendra (this forum will be live streamed for rural areas only)
11.45am | Artist and Illustrator Daniella Leo


Theatre Studies

Date Times & Speakers
20 Mar 1.45pm | Costume Designer Chloe Greaves



Focus on photography

Date Times & Speakers
16 May 11.45am | Photographer James Henry and Top Designs 2018 exhibitor Keira Patman


System Engineering

Date Times & Speakers
18 Apr 9.45am | Engineer Nick Brown from Engineers without Borders with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Tom Algie
11.45am (Live streaming) | Engineer Nick Brown from Engineers without Borders with Top Designs 2017 exhibitor Tom Algie


VCE VET Creative Digital Media

Date Times & Speakers
27 Apr 11.00am (Live streaming) | Luke Deylen and Top Designs 2018 exhibitor Stella Wadeson


Top Designs Talks

Top Designs Talks support VCE students of Visual Communication Design and Product Design & Technology.

They consist of an introductory talk from a representative of the VCAA only, addressing the School-Assessed Task using examples from Top Designs exhibited works, folios and design plans.


Visual Communication Design: Friday 18 May at 10.30am and 11.30am (live streaming at 11.30am session)

Product Design & Technology: Friday 18 May at 1.30pm (live streaming)

Exhibition visit

Students visit the Top Designs exhibition for an hour and are also invited to visit the You Can’t Do That exhibition for half an hour.

Allow up to 3 hours. Includes 30 minute Talk and 1 hour exhibition viewing time.

Live streaming

To book into Live Streaming or find out more about Industry Speakers please email [email protected] or call 83417211.


Student worksheets for use during the Top Designs exhibition:


Industry speakers

Speaker Topic
Rebecca Naughtin Visual Communication Design
Daniella Leo Visual Communication Design
Kate Pullen Visual Communication Design
Rupa Anurendra Visual Communication Design
John Doyle Visual Communication Design
Louisa West Visual Communication Design
Virginia Mannering Visual Communication Design
Chloe Greaves Theatre Studies
Luke Aitkins and Veronica Piava from Christopher Blank Product Design and Technology (Furniture, product and resistant materials)
Izaak Brøchner Madsen Product Design and Technology (product and resistant materials)
Genevieve Kulesza Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
Megan O'Malley Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
Gab Murphy Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
Laura McKenzie Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
Sophia Loughrey Product Design and Technology (textiles and resistant materials)
Claire Best Product Design and Technology (textiles and resistant materials)
Mariah Kehaidis Product Design and Technology (textiles and resistant materials)
Clare Schreenan Product Design and Technology (textiles and resistant materials)
Kat Pengelly Product Design and Technology (textiles and resistant materials)
Emma Luke Product Design and Technology (product and resistant materials)
Sam Fuller Product Design and Technology (product and resistant materials)
Luke Deylen VET Creative Digital Media
Stella Wadeson VET Creative Digital Media
Chris Murphy Visual Communication Design
Dawn Tan Visual Communication Design
Andrea Innocent Visual Communication Design
Kim Pannan Visual Communication Design
Lisa Reichenberg Visual Communication Design
Alicia Braumberger Visual Communication Design
Leah Heiss Visual Communication Design
Nick Brown Systems Engineering
Tom Algie Systems Engineering
Cam Suttie Media, Film
Teagan Glenane Media, Film
James Henry Media, Photography
Keira Patman Media, Photography
Zoe Hogan Media, Print Layout


Rebecca Naughtin

After completing her VCE at Newhaven College, Phillip Island, Rebecca Naughtin completed a Bachelor of Architecture degree with first class honors at RMIT. After graduating in 2004, Rebecca commenced work in an architectural practice and within 4 years had formed Allen Naughtin Architects. In 2007, Rebecca was promoted to Examiner at the Architects Registration Board of Victoria and currently holds the position of Lecturer and Tutor at both Monash and RMIT Universities.

In 2012, the practice Rebecca Naughtin Architect was formed, an architectural firm that focuses on residential, commercial and pro bono work. Her designs focus on sustainability and innovation with a particular emphasis on client engagement and helping clients' realise the potential of their projects. In 2013, Rebecca was promoted to Convener for the Constructive Mentoring Program for Women in Architecture and most recently won Emerging Architect of the Year 2014 for the Victorian Chapter of the Architects Institute of Australia. 

Daniella Leo

Daniella Leo, known as Dee, is the Melbourne artist behind For Me By Dee. Dee’s formal training includes a Bachelor of Communication Design from RMIT. She is self-taught in watercolour, and has a recognisable, signature style that is simple, clean and colourful. After graduating Dee worked in the corporate jungle as a graphic designer. 4 years on she knew she had so much untapped creative energy so Dee took a leap of faith to pursue her creative passion and For Me By Dee was born.

For Me By Dee has quickly grown to become a household name for vibrant and fun animal art. Dee decided to not only create animals that were visually appealing, but also bring to life characters that exuded big personalities. Designed and hand painted lovingly in Dee’s studio, each animal character is carefully considered and developed. They begin as a sketch, taking shape with layers of watercolour paint and many detailed brushstrokes. Once their eyes are complete they truly come alive and their quirky characters take on a life of their own!

With a range of animal prints and products including greeting cards, prints, tea towels and pillowcases. For Me By Dee products can be found sitting pretty in over 100 boutique stockists across Australia. Dee’s work has been featured on Channel 9’s The Block, and in magazines including Frankie, Inside Out and Sunday Life. Her work has been published in books by Thames and Hudson including ‘Koala’ ‘The book of the dog’ and ‘Cockatoo’.

She regularly attends large design markets around Australia including The Finders Keepers Market, The Big Design Market and takes part in tradeshows including Life in Style.

Kate Pullen

Kate Pullen is an emerging illustrator and letterer from Melbourne who can't drink caffeine, making her choice of profession and home city seriously questionable. Slowly, and without any grand plan, letters and words became her primary focus. Often gathering inspiration from pop culture (read: watching a lot of movies), she's driven by the hope that these illustrations may help crack a smile or two. Although the majority of pieces created will end up on a Mac, there continues to be something about the humble pen and paper that will always have her reaching for a fine liner before a mouse.

Now, four years after graduating, Kate freelances part-time as an illustrator and letterer, exhibits when possible, teaches the odd workshop, scrolls through Instagram like a fiend, and in 2016 joined the lettering girl group The Letterettes. Her work has been published in the annual Typism and Semi-Permanent books, she previously sat on the Victorian AGDA Council, and has created work for Bonds, The Body Shop, Spirax, Mimco and Le Tan. To be honest, it is a lot of juggling deadlines whilst watching Ghost more times than is socially acceptable. 

Rupa Anurendra

Rupa Anurendra exhibited her work for Visual Communication Design in Top Designs 2017 and her film Red & Blue in both Top Designs and Top Screens 2017.

She is now a communication design student at Swinburne University and works for Cystic Fibrosis Community Care as a graphic designer and videographer. Rupa is hoping to have a career in design or photojournalism.

John Doyle

John Doyle is a Melbourne based architect.  He is the director of craft based architecture and interior design studio, Martires Doyle, a partner in public architecture and research practice NAAU, and head of the Master of Architecture program at RMIT University.  He has worked for a number of significant practices in Australia and abroad, including LAB Architecture Studio in Melbourne and Toyo Ito and Associates in Tokyo.  He holds a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) from RMIT University, a Master of Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology and is currently completing a PhD at RMIT University. 

Louisa West

Louisa established her design studio in 2017, having practiced as an artist, teacher and photographer for over ten years prior. Her dedication to professionalism and client satisfaction has earned Louisa West Studio a credible reputation amongst independent and corporate businesses Australia wide.

Having completed degrees in both Fine Arts (Honours) and Education, Louisa has established a great appreciation for the history of art and the aesthetics of design, which has evidently influenced her current practice as an artist, creative director and photographer.

Louisa has worked with a community of notable designers on various creative projects including photographic styling/branding, product, lifestyle, portrait, interior and fashion photography. Additionally, Louisa has worked as an illustrator, surface designer and photographer for Junkies Magazine Australia since 2016. 

Louisa’s current art practice reflects her passion for Modern Art movements, Australian flora, and mid-century design.   Her most recent Art collections will be represented by Brunswick Street Gallery during 2018.

Virginia Mannering

Virginia Mannering is a Melbourne-based graduate architect working in small practice, with an interest in residential, institutional and exhibition-scaled projects. She enjoys working across disciplines and in 2017 she formed her own writing and research-focussed practice named NORA.

Virginia has taught architectural design at Monash University and the University of Melbourne since 2013, as well as a range of history, theory and construction subjects. She grew up in Canberra and completed her first degree at the Australian National University, majoring in Art History and Linguistics. After moving to Melbourne in 2007 she attended Monash University and graduated with a Bachelor, and then Master, of Architecture. 

Chloe Greaves

Chloe is a Melbourne based costume and set designer working in stage and film design.

She is a graduate of the Victorian College Of The Arts school of production

Some of here most recent theatre designs included 'Lucid' and 'Rule of Thirds' (Chunky Move), 'The River'(Red Stitch), 'The Bacchae'(Fraught outfit, Melbourne festival), ‘They Saw A Thylacine’ (Malthouse Theatre), 'The Waiting Room' (MTC), 'Blak Cabaret' (Sydney Festival/Malthouse theatre), "The Magic Pudding' (Victorian Opera), 'On the bodily Education' (Fraught Outfit - MTC Neon), 'Le Donna Curiose' (The Juliard School, New York), 'HART' (SheSaid, international tour) Therese Raquin (Dirty Pretty Theatre) and 'Pacific Overtures'  (Watch This Productions).

In 2016 she completed filming of an Australian feature film 'Living space'.  She has styled music videos for artists including Guy Sebastian, San Cisco, DZ Deathrays, Montaigne and Alison Wonderland .

Chloe received the 2014 independent theatre Green Room award for design for her years body of work. And has been nominated for four others occasions.

In 2017 Chloe will be designed 'Fallen' for Shesaid at the Seymour Centre in Sydney, 'Incognito' for the Red Stitch Theatre and two of her past works 'Therese Raquin' and 'HART'  toured nationally.

Luke Aitkins and Veronica Piava from Christopher Blank

Christopher Blank like to keep it pretty simple. They’re a Melbourne-made, custom-design studio dedicated to creating furniture and homewares from sustainably sourced timber. Honouring the integrity of the materials they use is key to CB’s philosophy; design and proportion first, and function built to last.  

Furniture maker Luke (Christopher) Atkins and designer Veronica (……….) Paiva are obsessed with timber; the way it looks, the way it feels and how it ultimately makes your house a home. Christopher Blank was born from a collective passion to produce quality, handmade pieces as a team; furniture made with their minds and hands that would play a useful part in the chaos of everyday life.

Luke’s background is in carpentry – his meticulous attention to detail was honed while specialising in restoration and heritage homes. Veronica has worked in design and visual merchandising with global luxury brands for over sixteen years.

Christopher Blank believe design need not compromise function; whether it’s a dining table that serves up impassioned discussions, or an armchair that you can pull up to beat your grandma at bridge, CB want you to have both.


Izaak Brøchner Madsen

Izaak Madsen holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours) from RMIT University, graduating with First Class Honours in 2017. As Izaak has been drawing and designing products since he was old enough to hold a pencil, studying design was an obvious and easy choice for him. Also, Izaak thinks that being half Danish might have given him a genetic advantage in design!

Izaak's design practice focuses on consumer products, including homewares, watches and jewellery, and he is particularly interested in the interaction between users and products, and how a product's aesthetics can influence emotions and increase product attachment through, for example, feelings associated with materials, texture and colours, and through elements of surprise such as unexpected shapes. Izaak is also interested in design for health and well-being, including, for example, how product design can help dementia sufferers maintain the greatest degree of autonomy for the longest possible time.

Izaak has worked as a designer for an American tech start-up company, where he did the 3D modelling for their products. He is currently doing freelance 3D modelling and graphic design.

Genevieve Kulesza

Genevieve Kulesza brings a unique global perspective gained from her experiences working in Melbourne and Berlin. Her broad-based expertise combines a big picture understanding of fashion with creative design skills, technical production knowledge, and practical sales insight.

A lifelong fascination with creating led her to a four-year Bachelor of Design (Fashion) degree at RMIT University, where she graduated with First Class Honours in 2010. Her graduate collection received national recognition, described by leading global trend-analysis website WGSN as an 'exuberant… explosion of colour and texture'. Genevieve was selected for the prestigious National Graduate Show, a highlight of the 2011 L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival featuring Australia's top 12 fashion design graduates.

After completing an internship in Berlin Genevieve continued to work in Europe with a range of fashion labels including C.Neeon, Starstyling, and Front Row Society. Since returning to Melbourne she has worked in brand management and product development for brand such as Max Mara, Maya McQueen and Mela Purdie.

Megan O'Malley, Co-Founder of Walk, Sew, Good

Megan O’Malley was once a professional dancer on cruise ships but after witnessing the exploitation and inequality that workers onboard were exposed to, she decided it was time for a change.

Following a brief stint in Bollywood, she returned to Melbourne to complete a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) at RMIT.

While Megan loved fashion, and at that point was an excessive shopper, she began to investigate and discover the widespread negative impacts of the fashion industry. It upset her to think that similar exploitation and injustices that she'd seen on cruise ships, were going on in the fashion industry. Megan is currently Head of Research at Project JUST, an organisation working to empower and inspire shoppers to make better purchasing decisions and demand more from fashion brands.

Gab Murphy, Co-Founder of Walk, Sew, Good

Gab studied a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) at RMIT. In a sustainability class she met an interesting character by the name of Megan.

Growing up in the multicultural township of Mildura, Gab developed an interest in studying different cultures. She passionately advocates for refugee and asylum seeker rights and worked on the Strategic Plan for the Sunraysia-Mallee Ethnic Communities Council in 2015.

Even though she’s travelled to over 30 countries, six continents and hiking various mountains, jungles and deserts, Gab still considers herself a budding student of the outdoors. She has travelled extensively and is not yet dead. Gab hopes that this endeavour does not affect that status.

Laura McKenzie

Laura McKenzie exhibited her Product Design and Technology pieces in 2014’s Top Designs exhibition, having completed the subject in 2013 while in year 11 at Loreto College, Ballarat. Her displayed work featured a vintage style dress and bathers, which won the prize for innovation at Top Designs, as well as winner of the casual wear category in Apex Australia Teenaged Fashion Awards.

In 2017 Laura graduated the Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University, majoring in Creative Writing and Politics and International Studies. This year she hopes to focus on writing and producing films before resuming study at Melbourne University to complete the Juris Doctor in 2019.

Since meeting industry speaker, Chloe Greaves, in the Top designs talks of 2015, Laura has had the incredible opportunity of assisting her in set wardrobe of various projects. These include music videos, theatre productions and short films. This experience sparked Laura's interests in the film industry. Laura has written directed and produced a short film that has been programmed in Melbourne Underground and Melbourne Women in Film festivals, and is also completing a diploma of Film and TV at Swinburne.

Sophia Loughrey

Sophia Loughrey is 20 years old and currently studying the bachelor of fashion design at RMIT University. Her product design (textiles) work was exhibited in Top Designs in 2016, which incorporated a jacket that evolved into a back pack. This product won the Deans Art 'original thought' award. Since then, Sophia has continued to explore garment design and fashion through the course at RMIT.

Claire Best

Claire Best is a shoe maker based in Melbourne. Her footwear is designed and made by hand, with an emphasis on quality materials, craftsmanship, contemporary design and innovation.  All aspects of production take place in her Brunswick workshop, and each pair of shoes are made to order.

Having completed her Certificate IV in Custom Footwear at RMIT, Claire has since undertaken a number of short courses as well as undergoing internships and mentorships with some of Australia’s finest shoe makers.

Claire has taught a variety of short courses at the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) and Third Drawer Down, for would be shoe makers and leather craft enthusiasts alike. She is now a tutor of footwear short courses at the RMIT School of Fashion & Textiles in Brunswick.  2013-2014 saw Claire exhibit as part of Melbourne Now at NGV International, and her 'Painted Derby' shoes have since been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria for their permanent collection of fashion and textiles. Claire has also recently been commissioned by the Powerhouse Museum (MAAS) in Sydney for their permanent footwear collection.  Her ‘Gusset Brogue Boots’ were exhibited as part of ‘Recollect: Shoes’  in 2014- 2015. 

@clairebesthandmade and facebook 

Mariah Kehaidis

Mariah Kehaidis exhibited her Product Design Technology garment in the 2017 Top Design Exhibition. Her garment displayed the metamorphic stages of the butterfly using unique and organic materials that were sustainable and could all be recycled. Through Top Designs, Mariah was chosen for the 2017 Creative Museum Program run in partnership with Museums Victoria and the Victorian Assessment and Curriculum Authority (VCAA). In 2018 she completed a Certificate IV in Custom Made Footwear at RMIT and designed and created six pairs of shoes, including patent leather oxfords and denim mid-calf boots.

Clare Schreenan

Clare is from Ballarat in regional Victoria. She left in the late 80's to study at Melbourne college of Textiles and then worked in Melbourne mainly in the bridal industry over the next 10years. She then moved to Sydney where she worked as a designer for 7 years before returning to Ballarat to start her own business, Clasch Design. Clasch Design is a made to measure design and dressmaking business, specialising in bridal and evening wear. Every gown is made individually to fit each client. Clare has been running Clasch Design from her studio in Ballarat now for the past 12 years. 

Kat Pengelly

Kat Pengelly creates wearable art. Her label ‘Koshka’ is a creative force of Art Fuelled Fashion.

With a background in Fine Art, Kat’s fashion collections enter the world via art galleries. Her artistic label was unleashed at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2011. A capacity crowd was in attendance and the gallery acquired one of Kat’s garments for their permanent collection.

With an inclination for collaboration, Kat assembles teams of master creators to present her collections. More theatre than fashion parade, these multi-media productions involve film makers, tattooists, musicians, choreographers, performers and scientists. Kat also seeks to collaborate with educational and cultural intuitions to provide pathways to professional practice for students of the arts and creative industries. One such partnership is with Federation University Australia Arts Academy who has participated in Kat’s productions as performers, musicians, makeup artists and hairdressers. Most recently in her show ‘Fashion for Funerals’ that was presented in association with The Art Gallery of Ballarat’s exhibition Romancing the Skull in November 2017.

An alumnus of Federation University Australia Arts Academy herself, Kat’s relationship with her education provider continues to grow. Completing a Bachelor of Arts- Fine Art in 1995 with a Major in Painting; Kat returned to University over the next 15 years to lecture in various subjects from Arts Business to Costume Design and Construction. This year, Kat has been invited to undertake a 12 month Artist in Residency within the University’s Ballarat Campus. This entails provision of a studio space and the opportunity for students to learn from a practicing, professional artist.

With a focus on fashion, Kat studied Pattern Making and Garment Construction at the Melbourne School of Fashion in 2009 to consolidate her skills. She provides workshops in sewing and pattern making at her studio with a keen desire to keep industry alive in Australia. She also advocates equitable fees for artists and the importance of taking charge of business in order to be viable.

Kat aspires to tour her fashion concept shows internationally. 'It's free to dream!'

Emma Luke

Emma Luke has a design background in accessories design and fabrication, specialising in watches, bags, jewellery and wearables. She has worked in brands, her own label, owned a store, produced collections and consulted.

Emma is currently completing a PhD focused on post digital craft, her interests are in exploring emerging constructs of multimodal design practice and new processes of creating and visualising hybrid personal objects. She is interested in design that challenges digital obsolescence and the loss of lasting cultural narratives through multifaceted and generative design processes.

Sam Fuller

Sam finished year 12 already knowing which degree he was really passionate about. He got his first job in the industry 6 months after starting the degree by complementing one of the guys at Porcelain Bear on how well they had maintained their beard. He asked for work experience and then was offered a part time job.

After a little while he got to meet some amazing lighting designers including Christopher Boots. He got a job in dispatch then moved up to production and then onto the design team where he currently works.  Last year Sam coincidently ran into the creative director of Mona and was asked to help with a project for the new James Turrell Museum. He was asked to 3D model some plates they had designed and send the technical drawings to Japan. Sam has also been working on another 3D modelling job for the Mofo Festival.

Luke Deylen

Luke Deylen is the Front End Developer Lead at Loud & Clear, managing the front end team and all the projects the team works on. He has been working in the digital agencies for 9 years working at companies like Clemenger BBDO and DT (no AKQA). The clients he has worked on include KFC, NAB, Mars, Mercedes, BMW, Mini, Myer, Optus, Treasury Wine Estate, Fun Lab, Basketball Victoria, NAB, Bank of Melbourne, Bank of Queensland, Officeworks, Bunnings, Landmark and many more. The standout project Luke has worked on included mobile game for KFC, a website for Myer that allowed you to shop the catwalk live and a twitter mood analyser using Twitter that would lower the price of Snickers the angrier people are.

Stella Wadeson

Stella is currently studying Year 12 this year after completing VET: Creative Digital Media as her advanced units ¾ subject in Year 11. She gained a high score in the subject and her animation which majorly focusses on developing a unique style through Illustrator and Animate CC was accepted into Top Designs 2018 Exhibition. This year in Year 12 Stella is completing Visual Communication Design and Studio Arts, she has much experience with presenting a folio as well as understanding criteria. Stella hopes to pursue a career within design at university next year.

Chris Murphy

After having his work exhibited in the 2005 Top Designs exhibition Chris Murphy went on to Graduate from Swinburne University of Technology with a Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) in 2008 and then on to found Motherbird, a cross-disciplinary creative consultancy.

With a score of awards under their belt including the coveted Qantas Spirit of Youth Award (SOYA) for best Australian creative talent, Motherbird are an established force within the Australian design industry.  Passionate about what they do, and proud of how they do it. Their experience spans across government, commercial and not for profit sectors in Australia and Internationally. 

Dawn Tan

Born and raised in tropical Singapore, Dawn moved to Melbourne in 2008 to pursue a Fine Arts degree in Painting. Inspired by the city's ever-changing seasons, friendly faces, food and culture, Dawn fell instantly in love with Melbourne and has since decided to call it home.

With food and nature being her best inspiration, Dawn spends her days painting, freelancing, soap making and teaching art to both children and adults. Dawn has been featured in many notable magazines, press and sites such as Frankie Magazine, Smith Journal, Hooray Magazine, Inside Out Magazine, The Age, Herald Sun, The Design Files, A Cup of Jo, Apartment Therapy and have to date worked with organisations such as Heide Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Australia, City of Melbourne's ArtPlay, South Melbourne Market and so on. With a huge passion for education in the Arts and 12 years experience working in both studios and schools, Dawn is currently setting up a new home-based, art school in Melbourne's inner West.

Andrea Innocent

Andrea began illustrating professionally in 2006 as a member of The Jacky Winter Group in Melbourne since that time she has also given talks and workshops on all sorts of topics related to illustration and design, such as professional practice, drawing, marketing and character design.

The illustrations she creates often tell stories of Japanese ghosts, folktales and quirky newspaper articles. More recently she has begun exploring the Australian bush and local flora and fauna in her work whilst still maintaining the ukiyo-e influenced aesthetic.

"Explorations in new media as well as in traditional illustration and sculpture look into the very human obsession of collecting as well as the emotional connections with objects we have and how they link us to time and place".

Andrea currently works out of a studio at the Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey, Melbourne. In her down time she takes care of her baby son and Welsh Cardigan Corgi 'Pickles'.

Kim Pannan

Kimberly is an award-winning design professional, winning prizes for innovative sustainable architecture in Australia and abroad, including the VicUrban Affordable Housing Competition and the USA’s Big Ideas for Small Lots Competition.

Kimberly has over a decade’s experience working with industry leaders and has completed projects in Australia, China, Africa and the USA.  Specialising in the fields of residential, education, and cultural/community architecture, Kimberly loves the challenge of resolving complex design problems into simple, logical and spatially beautiful solutions. 

Kimberly has excellent communication skills and is very au-fait working with large and diverse stakeholder groups.  Her approachable and easy communication style ensures that everyone’s needs are teased out and integrated into the solution.

As a Green Star and LEED  Accredited Professional, Kimberly is committed to sustainable design and it is a core component in her design process.  Kimberly believes the key to the most sustainable outcomes are achieved when a project is conceived with the first principles of sustainable design in mind from the get-go.

Lisa Reichenberg

Lisa Reichenberg is a Communication Designer working in Wayfinding and Branded Environments. She has been involved in exciting, high profile projects for universities, shopping centres, community precincts and hotels, to name but a few.

After completing her VCE at The King David School, Lisa went on to study Interior Architecture (with Honours) at Monash University. Shortly after she went on to complete Communication Design at Swinburne University majoring in publication design.

Alicia Braumberger

Alicia Braumberger is a concept designer and visualisation artist. After completing her Bachelor of Design at Swinburne University in 2009, Alicia began her career as a freelance illustrator, specialising in concept development.

This can involve visual scribing at events, transforming information into infographics, creating artist impressions and illustrating product concepts. Alicia works with clients during the early stages of a project, when many ideas are explored and the final product is far from being realised. Visualisation at this stage means the client can see their ideas laid out in a tangible way, helping to streamline thinking and develop new insights. From the first sketch through to finished art, Alicia has worked with clients such as Uniqlo, Optus, the ABC, Moose Toys, Jemena and Penguin, using her illustrations to bring their ideas to life."

Leah Heiss

Leah Heiss is a Melbourne-based designer and RMIT researcher working at the nexus of design, health, and technology. Her practice traverses technology, service and experience and her process is deeply collaborative, working with experts from nanotechnology, engineering and health services through to manufacturing. Her health technology projects include jewellery to administer insulin through the skin for diabetics; biosignal sensing emergency jewellery; and swallowable devices to detect disease. She has most recently designed a world-first modular hearing aid with a leading Melbourne hearing technology company, launching in March 2018. The Incus, which she designed for Blamey Saunders hears, is part of the IHearYou self fit hearing system that won the inaugural Good Design Award, Social Innovation, 2015 and the Good Design Award Product Design - Medical and Scientific, 2015. Her design work has been exhibited and presented both locally and globally and attracted significant press across all platforms. Her practice has commercial, research and academic outcomes.

Leah's hearing device is on display on the level 1 east balcony, Melbourne Museum, 5th March–15 July 2018.

Nick Brown

Nick Brown is a humanitarian engineering educator and researcher. At the age of 17 Nick was inspired into engineering and human centred design when he noticed subtle modifications made to a sports centre to make it more usable for people with disabilities. Now, as research leader at the not for profit organisation Engineers Without Borders Australia, Nick is responsible for the delivery of innovative education and research initiatives that build and disseminate new knowledge and technology that contribute towards sustainable development and social change.

Developed research covers broad themes and includes projects such as the design low cost 3D printed orthotics and prosthetics. The removal or arsenic from ground water and the efficiency of wood burning cookstoves used by households over the world.

Tom Algie

Tom Algie is a 2017 Top Designs Exhibitor in Systems Engineering. He enjoys flying drones, riding BMX, building robots, and metal music. He completed year 12 at Beaconhills College and built an Exoskeleton as his Systems Engineering project. 

Cam Suttie

Cam Suttie is a creative specialising in content for social change organisations. After graduating from a graphic design/multimedia degree and a short stint designing t-shirts for the surf industry he picked up a video camera did some volunteering and redirected his career.

Now a documentary film maker and photographer with jobs taking him anywhere from filming in the remote plains of Kenya to driving through central Australia in a hearse worth under $1000 named Code Brown.

Developing creative content for campaigns spanning from TV to social media his client list includes many of the major charities in Australia including World Vision, Red Cross & WWF. 

Teagan Glenane

Teagan Glenane is a photographer turned filmmaker turned producer specialising in creating content for Charities and NGO's amongst many others.

Teagan Graduated from Photography Studies College and completed a cadetship at Fairfax Media before working full time on staff as a photographer and photo editor. After leaving Fairfax she travelled, took photos and somewhere along the way flicked the switch over to the video settings and hasn't looked back. Being able to capture and share people's stories is Teagan's passion, from working with kids with disabilities to documenting the making of denim, no story is too big or small.

Collaboration is key for Teagan and she loves building a team, be it big or small to bring these photos and films to life.  Her clients include Children First Foundation, Fairfax Media, RACV, ABrand Denim, and the State Library of Victoria. 

James Henry

James Henry has been working as a photographer since the start of 2010. Starting out by working alongside his job as an event’s organiser and musician, he made the transition across to shooting events quite easily and had a lot of clients keen to work with him in his new field.

James has since tried his hand at various disciplines from travel landscapes and cityscapes to fashion for his own personal projects. This has given him skills to take into the world or portrait photography for which he has been in demand across the state and across the country.

Being a part of the Aboriginal community in Melbourne, James has been widely used with regular high profile clients and small businesses. This is due to his reputation for quality and punctuality, but also for his cultural sensitivity and familiarity in the community. Having worked across the country in Aboriginal urban, rural and remote communities this understanding and respect for culture extends far beyond his home of Melbourne.

If there is anything that would have James stand out above other photographers it would be his diverse skill set and ability to be flexible in situations by thinking quickly on his feet. Always walking the fine line between being invisible and engaging while shooting events he has honed his instinct for getting the shots required with minimal time and impact on the situation. This quick thinking on an extended shoot allows him to capture a diverse array of shots where time is not an issue.

James’ clients have included: Cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra, Moreland, Darebin, Stonnington, Brimbank, Whittlesea. Department of Justice, Business and Innovation, Premier and Cabinet. Melbourne Museum, Essendon Football Club, The Long Walk Foundation, Songlines Aboriginal Music, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Cancer Council, Australian Electoral Commission, Australian Indigenous Fashion Week, Lowitja Institute, Chiropractors Association of Victoria, Koorie Night Market, Koorie Heritage Trust

Musicians have included: Blue King Brown, Black Arm Band, Archie Roach, Bart Willoughby, Lou Bennett, Kutcha Edwards, Coloured Stone, Emma Donovan, Yung Warriors, Lee Morgan, Jessie Lloyd 

Keira Patman

Keira Patman completed her VCE at Billanook College last year. She is now studying a Bachelor of Commerce combined with a Bachelor of Arts at Deakin University and works for Red Flair Photography and Imaging as an editor and Kinder photographer, along with starting her own business as an event photographer. Keira would like to pursue a career in photography or journalism.

Zoe Hogan

Zoe joined Nuttshell Design as a graduate in 2017. While undertaking Communication Design at RMIT, an internship at the Melbourne Festival gave Zoe valuable experience in publication design, display design and detailed typographic outcomes. Zoe works across all areas of concept development; branding and brand management; typography; signage design; exhibition design; digital design; and illustration.